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The Blogfiles: Las Vegas and Poker


Intro:  For well over a year, the Las Vegas and Poker blog has provided top-notch coverage of poker tournaments, personalities, and issues.  The Poker Prof and Flip Chip are synonymous with poker blogging.  On a side note, let’s come up with a better name for “blog.”  You just can’t type a sentence and make it sound cool by ending it with “blog.”  You just can’t. 

Anyway, the Las Vegas and Poker blog is one of our daily reads, and it’s the focus of our latest Blogfile.  So take in the Poker Prof as he waxes on his full-time gig: poker blogging.

See.  You just can’t.

WCP: How’d the Las Vegas and Poker blog originate?

PP: The blog started as a hobby that grew out of selling poker chips via eBay. I discovered that blogging and poker were far more enjoyable than sales. The blog really became a focal point when we obtained media access to the 2004 World Series of Poker, we have been covering major poker events in Vegas ever since.

WCP: You still selling chips on eBay (or elsewhere) or does LVV and pokerplayernewspaper.com supply all of your income now? 

Joe_smithPP: Got away from the chips almost as soon as we got into them.

WCP: All right Prof (seen right, photo from OJR), you've been closer to the Vegas poker scene longer than many blogs out there.  What are some of your favorite memories/stories from covering poker in Vegas?

PP: The most memorable moment for me was the Barry Greenstein/Charlie Tuttle nexus at the World Series of Poker this year. 

For those who don't know the story you can read it at: http://www.lasvegasvegas.com/pokerblog/archives/000551.php

Next to that would be the day I partnered with Stan Sludikoff on PokerPlayerNewspaper.com.  It allowed me the resources and freedom to build an extensive content management system specifically engineered with poker in mind.

WCP: You were with Mike Matusow when he was sentenced for drug distribution and sent to jail for six months.  What was your take on his sentencing?  Since his release, he's obviously been doing well (as his final table appearance at the WSOP ME showed).  In your talks with him since the release, how do you think jail time affected him?

PP: Point in fact, FlipChip was with him.  Matusow’s jail time was the ultimate bad beat, the stance in the original post I think sums everything up.  As far as jail time, he took 9th at this year’s World Series Main Event.  I think that says more than anything.

WPT: Give us your favorite Vegas:
a) Card Room:
PP: MGM Grand at the moment

b) Restaurant:
ShiattjPP: Impossible to answer!
Here are the last three restaurants I've visited all of which I'd recommend. 
1. The Palm Steak house at the Forum Shops
2. Fellini's at Sam's Town
3. In-n-Out Burger

c) Free show:
PP: Fountains at the Bellagio have to be seen to be believed.

WCP: Speaking of "have to be seen to be believed," Shana Hiatt or Courtney Friel?

Brandis_corner6PP: Why not Brandi (seen left)?

CourtneyfrielWCP:  That'll work too.  Ok, what are your thoughts on poker legalization?  Do you think it will ever happen across the board in the US?  Do you think it should?

PP: This answer deserves a book and I've addressed it several times from different angles (best posts available below).  Should it happen across the board? Without question, as should the legalization of every other Malium Prohibitium crime out there. Best to let the people decide.  Will it?  Doubtful in the extreme.  The standard response of a industry to a perceived threat is to absorb it or quash it.  Right now the Brick and Mortar Industry is trying the quash approach. 

Some Prof thoughts on legalization:

WCP: What would be your dream 6-person table to play with?  Can be living, dead, or ficticious people...

PP: Ahh, the dinner question... well for a round of poker... I suppose I'd invite the following:

Mark Twain, Herbert Yardley, Richard Feynman, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, and I'll save the sixth seat for myself

WCP:  And that wraps the Las Vegas and Poker Blogfile.  Thanks to the Prof.  Check back next week for uber-strategist Double A's, as he drops some of his blogging knowledge.

See.  You just can't.

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Adrian Fourie

Like myself, you've probably been somewhat intrigued by the concept of gambling since your brain began to work properly. By the time that I got my second bicycle I began to become interested in the probability of making money if I took a set of calculated risks.

We humans are naturally highly competitive, and suddenly we discover that people will hand money over to us if we can beat them at a game or predict the outcome of a situation more often or more accurately than them. Gambling is a competition. The rules and strategies are varied, but it always boils down to being a competition between yourself and others. The level of skill required also varies, from highly relevant in areas such as stock markets, card games, sports betting and horseracing, to almost irrelevent in games such as lotteries, slots and bingo.

The outcome of games and tournaments however, no matter what degree of skill is learnt and applied, is strongly affected by what we refer to as "luck".

To many people, luck seems to be something that is totally random. One week or one year, everything seems to go well for you, the cards, numbers, "even-chances" and outcomes tend to fall your way or the way you predicted. You can hardly do a thing wrong, and your bank balance proves that you are not imagining it. But at other times in your life, you can stand on your head, nothing seems to work for you. Your strategies fail, your education fails, unusual arrangements pop up and cause you to lose. Your banker horse did not run as it normally should have. You forgot to take your favorite numbers the week you would have won. You draw excellent cards but others just seem to choose that hand to draw even better cards, and it so happens when you've got your maximum stake on the table. Even the proven method of positive thinking seems to stop working for you. You find yourself saying, "What have I done to deserve this bad luck?"

At this stage, many of us start "losing our heads". Our logic starts to get distorted, we lose our sense of rationality. We start looking for physical reasons as to why our "luck" seems to have changed. We start associating wins and losses with physical objects or events. We start associating a pen, shirt, hat or other object with bringing us luck when we use or wear them. We start repeating this behaviour, which is obsessive in essence. But usually in fairly short space of time, we find that even using or wearing these items fails. Then we sit there, once more stung by the feeling of loss, of being a sub-average competitor on that occasion, and glumly try to refocus our thoughts and re-align ourselves with the mental state we were in at those times when we felt we were operating effectively, as we have proven to ourselves before.

For many years, like most people, I was somewhat superstitious when it came to gambling. There were a two things that seemed to occur to me repeatedly on those days that I lost. The first was if I saw a coin lying on the sidewalk near the betting establishment. The second was if a beggar asked me for money in the few hours prior to my placing the bet. That became such a sure-fire indicator of losing that often I would just give the beggar some money and not bet at all. When I lost later (which I usually did), it simply affirmed my belief that the sign had indeed been an indicator of things that would come to pass. An unfair one that crept in later was the belief that being in the company of certain people brought me luck, and others, bad luck.

When I reached this stage, I decided to take stock of the situation objectively. I tested it. I made a special point of noting when these circumstances occurred, forced myself to ignore them, and noting whether they affected the outcome at all. I must admit on some occasions I bet slightly more conservatively, but I did not refrain from betting as I had done a number of times before.

I did this for a few years until I became convinced of what I now believe to be the truth. In this instance, I agree with the scientists and mathematians.

It doesn't matter what you use, wear or with whom you associate.
Save yourself the time, anxiety and mental energy.

If you do what you can to keep your mind clear (i.e. get enough rest and do not drink excessively), if you stay humble, alert and focused, that is the most you can physically do to give yourself the best chance of winning.

You may have dwelt on the word I used, "humble". Although I cannot say whether you will win more whether you are humble or outspoken on a certain day, I can say that you will always remember those days most when you confidently or even arrogantly predicted an outcome and ended up with egg on your face. Other people will remember you for that as well, so as a rule, try and be humble yet alert, understated yet expectant. Try and be neutral. If not, then at least be remembrant of those days when you were cut down to size.

It took me about 15 years before moving on to the next step... Please drop your prejudices for a minute!

Are all Astrologers just plain stupid?.

We live at an interesting time of scientific knowledge. Scientists say that you cannot gain an advantage over the casino, since the odds are stacked against you. Scientists also say that astrology does not seem feasible, since it does not fit in with known scientific laws. However, it is estimated that approximately 100 million people in the world either follow astrology or see that there is some truth in it.

Are all these people gullible or stupid? Do people just follow something in their millions, century after century, if there is nothing there? Are humans really this fickle, or is it because each of them has had personal experiences or discoveries that have made them see that something very real and valid is going on? Avoid being too fickle yourself when answering this question!

Why this is an interesting time is because of this disparity in scientific and common knowledge. One day, probably in the not-too-distant future, when science has begun to unravel the causes and effects of astrology in more detail, several areas of life will change form or lose their appeal. Can you imagine a world where Insurance companies would work out your motor vehicle premiums based on how accident-prone your birth-chart was? Or where police would be able to short-list you with regards to having committed a crime on a specific date? Or where employers would first look at your Astrological compatibility with the existing staff-members? Or where mothers would choose the time of their child's Caesarian birth so as to avoid a Scorpio moon, a Saturn opposition or whatever? Can you imagine a world of astrological discrimination? Are you beginning to appreciate why astrology is known as 'secret' or 'hidden' knowledge? Why it is 'protected'? Why you can argue with someone or spell it out to them until you are blue in the face, and they still won't see it? They are not thick. They are just excluded.

Astrology is a gift. It 'forces open' your Third Eye. Certain aspects in a person's natal chart, especially to or from Mercury and Uranus, enable (or permit) them to see its truth. For the rest, it is simply blocked. They just don't get it, or are not interested. They cannot, or may not, take advantage of the influences affecting their lives. Without a doubt, there are times which are favorable for one to undertake various tasks or activities, and times when it is extremely unadvisable to undertake these same activities. The sterile world of scientists, insurance companies, criminal investigators, psychiatrists, and... yes, casinos, is still mostly unaware of these hugely deterministic influences that affect our lives and fortunes.

Thank goodness! Would you rather be one of the first people to take advantage of a gold rush, or only get in when the millions in their hordes were frantically trying to make their fortunes? Be grateful for your your knowledge, your 'gift', and things as they stand. Take advantage of esoteric knowledge, before it becomes common knowledge.

How? Well, some good news. You don't need to know much about automobiles to drive them. Neither do you need to know much about astrology to use it. Just plug it in. I swear it will give you some mind-blowing insights.

About The Author:
Adrian Fourie has beeen a habitual gambler for more than 30 years, studied astrology for 15 years and believes he has found a way to predict lucky days based on planetary transit shapes. For more, please see http://www.luckydays.tv


i can see twain and franklin breaking down people's hands like farha and negraneu. franklin wins the table.

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